Elia Park, Grade 9, Staff Writer
The popular social media app, BeReal, has taken the world–and HSAS–by storm as one of the most downloaded apps of 2022 so far. A notification is sent out once a day, beginning a two minute countdown for everyone, everywhere, at the same time. Users are instructed to take a photo of their surroundings, then subsequently of themselves to post for friends to see.
Authenticity is often seen as the weakness of social media, with the availability of filters and photo editing at hand making it easy to create false narratives online. BeReal eliminates the pressures of having to get the perfect shot, and encourages appreciating the moment—even the seemingly unimportant ones.
High School of American Studies 9th grader Grace Mills (‘26) shared her experience with the app so far. “I think it is fun to record memories and remember certain days. It takes away from all that you see that is so staged and fake.”
The popularity of BeReal has seemed to threaten the status of other social media apps, including TikTok: the most downloaded app of 2021 in the United States. In September of this year, TikTok launched a BeReal mimic by the name of TikTok Now. Now it follows the same concept as BeReal, using both the front and back camera to film a short video as prompted by a daily notification.
The feature has sparked controversy among social media users, such as student Annabel O’Reilly (‘26). “I think it detracts from the uniqueness of both apps, and it is unnecessary considering the amount of traffic that TikTok already gets.”
BeReal has also attracted the attention of other brands, such as an unexpected collaboration with Chipotle.
On Halloween, users are invited to take their BeReal in costume at any Chipotle restaurant, using the tag #booritosweepsteaks for a chance to win free burritos for one year. Other brands like e.l.f. Beauty, L’Oréal, and Rare Beauty have also joined the app to boost engagement from younger audiences.
The ability to share exclusive and unedited moments from different brands encourages a closer connection between them and consumers.
Ultimately, BeReal is an entertaining app that discourages the use of meticulous editing. Regardless of copycats and collaborations, it opens up the possibility to easily embrace the mundane and create deeper connections through a single notification: It’s Time to BeReal.
Mr. Weiss, Sr. Valerio, and several seniors in a BeReal